ROSES ARE DEAD
Self-proclaimed “Scream Queen,” horror-film actress Susan Gittes (Linda Fiorentino) is fond of drinking, night-time vomiting and playing with the peddlers. She is also blessed with an irritable temper and one day she has a heated argument with her producer. Moments later, the sucker is found dead. Unaware that she is the prime suspect in a possible murder, Linda jumps in her Corvette and checks into an expensive hotel under the name DeeDee Slaughter. There she meets Paul (C. Thomas Howell), an ambitious manager attending a convention, and Cathy (Nancy Allen), a colleague of Paul’s. Conservative nerd Paul suddenly sees his world expanding. The trio seem to have found each other and start experimenting with all kinds of alcoholic and erotic cocktails. When Paul’s fiancée Gail suddenly shows up and catches her boyfriend in bed with Linda, the fun is over. Petulant Linda gets into a scuffle, and moments later Gail is found dead. And of course, our Scream Queen is once again the prime suspect.
This black comedy is simultaneously a parody on the erotic thriller and a satire on the Z-movies, the blood & gore chainsaw epics. Under the firm direction of ex-Brian De Palma assistant Sam Irvin, who made a name for himself with the equally black comedy “Guilty As Charged” (screened at the 10th Festival), the best of the actors is brought out with great nuance and irony. Linda Fiorentino (Afterhours, The Moderns, Vision Quest) is the horror-vamp, C.Thomas Howell (The Hitcher, Soul Man, E.T.) plays the uptight streaker and Nancy Allen (Robocop I, II & III, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out) is his wild-eyed colleague. Watch out for Adam Ant as Linda’s boyfriend-manager and Isaac Hayes as the laconic police inspector.